Several people were injured when a winter storm brought tornadoes, flooding and even snow to Texas and other states along the Gulf Coast. Forecasters had issued a rare tornado emergency for the Houston area.
Substantial damage was reported in some of the Houston suburbs, but there were no reports of injuries. Suburban damage included:
Pasadena: Several businesses sustained major damage, including the city’s animal shelter. The American Red Cross said it was opening a shelter in the town.
Baytown: Officials reported downed power lines and damage to homes and businesses.
Deer Park: Officials reported severe damage to a nursing home.
“There is one aspect of me that’s amazed that no one got injured,” Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. said. “We will deal with the property and recover and rebuild.”
The injuries from the Gulf Coast winter storm came in Louisiana. Three people were hurt when suffered “mild to moderate injuries” when their mobile homes were flipped or destroyed after a tornado hit north of Baton Rouge.
The storm system also brought snow and ice to much of the central U.S., including as far south as El Paso, Texas. Schools and businesses remained closed Wednesday in parts of Oklahoma, which saw snowfall totals of between 1 and 6 inches across central and eastern parts of the state.
The winter storm was expected to move east Wednesday, bringing with it the threat of damaging winds to parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Winter weather advisories stretched from southern Missouri to Maine, with areas of New England expected to see 8 to 12 inches of snow.
“The low pressure system lifting from the Gulf states and into the Tennessee Valley early this morning is expected to deepen as it continues to track northeast through the Ohio Valley and Lower Great today, then reaching the Northeast by Thursday,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday. “This storm will be multifaceted and have significant impacts across a large portion of the nation from the Gulf coast into the Northeast.”